Environmental Studies

The Environmental Studies Program at The College of Idaho offers students an education in the complex relationships among natural systems and human cultures. The interdisciplinary program encourages students to question their own cultural and environmental attitudes and examine these values in their lives and work. The program prepares students to think critically, obtain and analyze data, and speak and write effectively about the environment, while also providing leadership in helping their communities address environmental issues.


Environmental Studies is an interdisciplinary program that includes the Environmental Studies major, the Enrironmental Studies minor and the Environmental Humanities Minor. You’ll take courses in the humanities, the natural sciences and the social sciences, exploring components of ecology and environmental systems, aesthetic representations of the environment, the history of environmental thought, the role of public policy and ethics in environmental decision-making, the varied conceptions of "environment" held by different cultures and the global nature of environmental issues.

All Environmental Studies majors complete a set of core classes and also receive in-depth training in a specific Focus discipline. Options include chemistry, conservation biology, literature, philosophy, political economy and a student-designed focus. In addition to your class work, you’ll learn in nature as an Environmental Studies major at the C of I. Recent and upcoming trips include biology excursions in Australia, literature and art-related trips to London and the Stanley Winter Wilderness Experience in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains. Given the interdisciplinary nature of environmental studies, the Environmental Studies major includes more extensive coursework than many majors. Interested students should meet with an Environmental Studies faculty member to plan their coursework.


Environmental Studies prepares skilled critical thinkers who are ready to provide leadership in a variety of career fields. Education, public policy, resource management, public health, public administration, international development, non-profit work and the sciences are popular choices for our graduates. Many alumni also go on to graduate school to study environmental law and policy, economics, environmental literature, plant and animal biology and other related sciences.